The Speed of Heat: An Airlift Wing at War in Iraq and Afghanistan

The Speed of Heat: An Airlift Wing at War in Iraq and Afghanistan

by Thomas W. Young


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The Speed of Heat: An Airlift Wing at War in Iraq and Afghanistan by Thomas W. Young

With its fleet of large transport aircraft, the United States military can put personnel and equipment anywhere on the globe within hours. In the Iraq and Afghanistan wars in particular, virtually every soldier, every bullet, every pint of blood, and every bite of food have arrived in the war zone by airlift.
This book tells the story of one Air National Guard airlift wing as related by its members. The 167th Airlift Wing of the West Virginia Air National Guard consisted of a squadron of 12 C-130 cargo planes, their crews, and all the supporting sections—in all, more than 1,200 people. The author, a former Associated Press reporter turned aviator, flew as an active member of that unit and interviewed nearly 70 servicemen and women for this book. They include aircrews who dodged heat-seeking missiles, mechanics who made combat repairs, flight nurses who treated and transported the wounded, even two motor pool truck drivers struck by a roadside bomb.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780786437986
Publisher: McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
Publication date: 04/30/2008
Pages: 273
Sales rank: 864,677
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Senior Master Sergeant Thomas W. Young is a flight engineer with the West Virginia Air National Guard and a former writer and editor for the broadcast division of the Associated Press. He lives in Alexandria, Virginia.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii

Preface 1

Introduction 5

1. Train Like You Fight 7

2. Condition Delta 16

3. Afghanistan 30

4. Where’s the Runway? 41

5. Valley of Death 50

6. Kyrgyzstan 54

7. Salerno LZ 59

8. Defensor Fortis 65

9. See You in Baghdad 76

10. Alarm Red 84

11. The Speed of Heat 93

12. Command and Control 102

13. The Rockets’ Red Glare 106

14. Road Warriors 118

15. “Civil” Aviation 125

16. Don’t Shoot the Messenger 133

17. The Other War 137

18. Folded Flags 153

19. Mortaritaville 159

20. Healers 175

21. Arabian Nights 192

22. When You Least Expect It 205

23. Metal Has Memory 210

24. The Aviator’s Prayer 218

25. Never Open Your Wallet in a Sandstorm 225

26. Twice the Citizen 235

27. Final Thoughts 245

Epilogue 253

Glossary 255

Sources 259

Index 261

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